In view of the Paris Games in 2024, the Eiffel Tower will regain its golden color from the beginning of the 20th century.
Venice red, Its first color
Since its construction 133 years ago, the Eiffel Tower has had seven different colors ! During its construction, in 1887-1888, Gustave Eiffel gave it its first color. The architect first decided to paint his work in “Venice red“, a color that was specially made in the Italian city in the Middle Ages. The two layers are applied in the workshop before the complete assembly of the monument, in order to protect the pieces of iron from potential rust. In May 1889, when its construction had been completed two months before, the tower changed color for the first time. From the initial Venice red, it changes to reddish brown, a color that accumulates with the two previous coats of paint. It was also during this first change that the Eiffel Tower was adorned with three different colors, as is still the case today. A darker part at the bottom of the monument, and more and more light on its heights. The objective was for it to be better integrated into the Parisian landscape.
The colors of the Eiffel Tower
Three years after its inauguration, the tower is entitled to its first polish. And for the occasion, she dresses in a brown ocher color, which she will keep for 7 years, between 1892 and 1899. As since its construction, the painting is done by hand. It takes nearly a year and a half and 60 tons of paint to restore the 2.5 million rivets and the 18,000 pieces that make it up. On the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the Eiffel Tower was given a makeover. No more brown ochre, make way for a color gradient, from orange at its base to light yellow at the top. This change of colors is also the starting point for seven-year cycles to repaint the building and ensure its maintenance.
A return to the yellow-brown of 1907
The year 1907 marks a real turning point in the history of the tower. Gustave Eiffel decides to lighten it and adorns it with a yellow-brown color. For nearly 50 years, the tower will remain yellow-brown and will be repainted five times with this same shade. After the yellow, the tower turned brownish red in 1954. Having become a real landmark in the Parisian sky, in particular thanks to the lighthouse installed at its summit two years earlier, it almost returns to its original color, which it will retain for nearly fifteen years. In 1968, the 324-meter tower took on the color we know today, that of the “brown Eiffel Tower“. Indeed, the color is specially designed for the building. Always repainted every 7 years, the tower continues to receive the public during the works, thanks to a strict sanitary protocol. The Eiffel Tower kept this appearance until 2022, before returning to the yellow-brown of 1907 for the Paris Games in 2024 and continuing to sparkle even more beautifully in the Parisian landscape.